Box art for The Time Traveler's Wife

The Time Traveler's Wife

drama, romance

Clare desperately tries to build a life with her one true love, despite the fact that his time traveling forces them apart with no warning, never knowing when they will be reunited.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 15
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5
Positive role models
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Tearjerker is too gloomy for tweens and younger teens.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this tearjerker, though romantic, may prove too gloomy for tweens and younger teens. The central couple shares a powerful love, but their relationship is constantly tested, sometimes to the breaking point, and there are few moments of levity. Expect some nudity (though primarily in a non-sexual context), swearing ("s--t" is the strongest word used), and a few bloody, though not gory, scenes. There's also discussion of heavy topics like free will, miscarriage, death, and losing a parent.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about what keeps Clare and Henry connected despite all of their difficulties. Is their life together believable? Would Clare really stay with Henry when he's so unpredictable? How does their relationship compare to other movie pairings you've seen?
  • Does the film handle the topic of time travel believably (as much as is possible, that is)? Does it seem like a benefit or a curse?
  • If you've read the book, how do you think the movie compares? What are some of your favorite books-turned-movies?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: The fact that Bana is a bit of a cold fish and real sparks never really ignite between he and McAdams, who is 10 years his junior, doesn't help matters.

- Adam Graham, Detroit News, Friday, August 14, 2009

Rotten: Some fans of the book might enjoy seeing these two soul mates brought to life on the big screen, but for everyone else the interpretation seems forced and at times inconsistent.

- Ben Lyons, At the Movies, Monday, August 17, 2009

Rotten: I thought really very little in the film worked.

- Ben Mankiewicz, At the Movies, Monday, August 17, 2009

Audience Reviews

2 stars

Interesting topic, really deep and ultimately sad. The ending was beautiful though philosophically, bring on the rain. Metaphors coming at you from all directions. Time travel is just a metaphor for the distance between two individuals in a relationship, I get that you metaphor swindlers. This movie kind of bounces all over the place because Eric Bana won't stop disappearing and being naked. Rachel McAdams' character: "I love you, let's get married, let's have a baby" Eric Bana's character: "...Well it's time I disappear!!!" That's the basic gist of the whole movie.

- Chiefilms, Sunday, September 5, 2010

5 stars

They all say that true love doesn't exist. This movie proved that theory wrong. As a boy Henry (Eric Bana), witnessed his mother dying but he didn't die because he had a certain gene that allowed him to time travel out of devestating situations & it also allowed him to time travel voluntaraly. This allowed him to meet Claire (Rachel McAdams), when she was six years old & Henry was an adult. Years later they meet again & Claire tells Henry that she was in love with Henry ever since he showed up in a bush near her house & that Henry was her best friend. They spend a lot of time together & Henry falls in love with Claire. They go through issues such as Claire not being able to conceive a child. Henry however can see into the future & tells her that the last time she tries they will have a baby. Henry's time traveling becomes a problem when he constantly disappears but their love for one another never fades & grows every day. A great romance that will inspire your heart & soul. :) Absolutely a five star movie!!! :)

- movieguru12, Monday, June 21, 2010

4 stars

"I wouldn't change one second of our life together." A romantic drama about a Chicago librarian with a gene that causes him to involuntarily time travel, and the complications it creates for his marriage. REVIEW Confusing? Yes. Paradoxical? Yes. Implausible? Perhaps. In many ways, this convoluted, disjointed, time-shifting movie might be considered an effort in futility and chaos. Yet, based on its core premise, in some ways it makes perfect sense. This challenging storyline has a script that actually manages to penetrate to the core or of commonplace time, and cracks open the real possibility of time as the literal fourth-dimension and as such, all the confusion, paradoxical, and yes implausible becomes a playfully dramatic, comedic, and sad movie, a fusion of science fiction with the real. This remarkable effort actually captures the sense of time and the drift of continuity of living through and among time. There are some fascinating scenes that are breakthroughs for time travel movies and it sets a new level of sophistication. Whether or not the discrepant pacing, the slight imbalance are technical problems or only reflect the nature of the movie itself, remain to be sorted out in time. If, time travel ever does become a reality, then this movie can be easily seen as the first bold step towards its acceptance.

- mrpopcorn, Tuesday, June 1, 2010